Versions of Piers Plowman (Kalamazoo, May 9-12, 2013)

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International Piers Plowman Society (IPPS)
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In his recent book The Lost History of Piers Plowman, Lawrence Warner concludes that Piers Plowman, “the most magnificent of poems,” is also “one still in the process of becoming.” This is not to imply that the poem will reach some final point of achievement, but rather that we must enlarge our understanding of the poem to include “innumerable acts of production and intervention from the 1360s to today.” Taking a capacious view of our object of study, this panel invites papers that explore Piers Plowman in its many-versioned manifestations. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to: studies of particular manuscripts; discussions of the dating and ordering of the poem’s versions; appropriations of the poem in the Rising of 1381; considerations of works in the Piers Plowman tradition, including Mum and the Sothsegger and Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede, but also of texts that may be said to imitate or respond to Langland more obliquely, including works, for example, by Chaucer, Hoccleve, and Usk; and considerations of modern editions, from the perspectives of editors as well as from other types of readers, including the teachers and researchers who depend on these editions.

Send abstracts of ca. 300 words, or any queries, to Rebecca Davis ( by September 15.

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